cost of living in washington dc

Last Updated on April 1, 2024 by Jawad Ali

Washington DC

Washington, DC is a major American metropolis. Like other big cities, Capital City has many services and entertainment to keep inhabitants and visitors entertained. D.C. is in a unique situation, functioning with both our nation’s political seat and a busy metropolis, with important historical landmarks and a vibrant city center.

Beautiful places of Washington DC

Beautiful parks, Smithsonian museums, & historical monuments are just a few of the unique features that make D.C. unique. Everyone will find something to their liking.

If you’re fortunate enough to be considering relocating to the District of Columbia, you must start planning your finances. Before coming to Washington, DC, it’s crucial to understand the cost of living.


The federal government is Washington’s largest employer, and earnings in the District are typically 26% greater than the average. Law, finance, and al science are the most favored high-paying fields in the city. Living in the capital is reasonable due to high earnings and a reduced cost of living compared to other large cities such as Boston and San Francisco.

Cost of living

On the local cost of living, which incorporates the cost of goods and services such as groceries, eateries, travel, & utility companies, Washington D.C. scores 83.68 out of 100. The cost of living in Washington implies it’s about 16 percent more expensive than New York City, the stock’s benchmark city (with a score of 100).

  • When you include rent, your score lowers to 79.46.
  • A cost of living calculator will help you determine how your spending would vary if you relocated to Washington, D.C.

Rental Prices in Housing

Compared to the most expensive districts of cities, Washington’s most affluent neighborhoods offer good value. The approximate living cost in Foggy Bottom, Shaw, and the U Street Corridor is between $2,500 and $2,700 per month. The monthly rent in these areas is $2,234, which is not significantly more than the national average.

Apartments in cheaper areas like Georgetown & Brightwood rent $1,700-$1,800 per month, closer to the national average of $1,463. Alexandria, Virginia; Silver Spring, Maryland; & Columbia, Maryland all have rents under $1,800.

Even if the costs appear to be high-priced, living in Washington, D.C. is not unreachable. When you share a room with several people, you can save a lot of money compared to living alone. For instance, the average price of a private bedroom in a shared apartment in D.C. on Bungalow is 25% less than the average small apartment rent in the same neighborhood.

Food Prices in Washington, DC

According to some statistics Calculator, a single person’s food costs $3,480. If you’re moving with your family, which would include your spouse but one child, your take-home pay will likely be $10,235. These figures assume the family does not eat out frequently.

You might eat out normally with so many delicious restaurants in the D.C. Metro area. According to Numbeo, a meal for one in a low-cost restaurant in D.C. costs about $16, not including a tip. A two-course lunch could cost $80 or more in a mid-range hotel.

Washington, DC transportation

The cost of your ticket will be changed by several criteria, along with the hour of the day you travel and, indeed the distance across stations. Anyone can estimate your fare using the Metro’s travel organizer.

Residents can travel across the Metro area with the environmentally friendly SmarTrip Card. It’s better to use the smartphone app to charge the cards and track your credit, so you can pay easily. Even though many citizens possess cars, D.C. is a pedestrian and bicycling metropolis.

D.C. Parks & Recreation Department

Several parks in the D.C. area provide opportunities for exercise and free entertainment. Rock Creek Park has a Planetarium where visitors can see the night sky. There is always something to do: hiking, motorcycling, walking, running, etc.

The Smithsonian Institution offers free general entry if you’d rather stay indoors. You can look around the displays without spending any money. Because the museum is so large, it’s the ideal place to spend time or several.

Read More: A Detailed Guide About Teaching In Spain Considering All Facts You Need To Know

Purchase Prices for Homes

The typical sale price of a home in Washington, D.C., in January 2020 was $580,000, more than twice the recommended average sale price of $245,000 at the time. The greater Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area has lower real estate costs than the city itself, so purchasers should explore outside of the city for residences priced at about $400,000.

D.C. has some of the lowest residential taxes in the country. After deductions and exemptions, householders will pay an effective tax rate of 0.55 percent, about half of the national median of 1.08 percent.

Health care

Average healthcare Costs in Washington, D.C. is $10,295 per year. According to 2020 statics data from 2020, average annual medical costs in Washington, D.C. are around $10,295.

Of course, actual healthcare expenditures vary greatly depending on various factors, including your healthcare insurance, how frequently you need medical treatment, and your family’s composition.

Furthermore, if you live in D.C., there’s a strong possibility you work for the federal government, so you should have good health insurance.

Washington has a 13% higher cost of living than the rest of the country. Utility costs are 10% lower than the national average, but housing costs are 22% higher. The price of groceries is about 12% higher than the price of clothing and other necessities like food compared to the rest of the nation.

What does a good wage look like in Washington?

According to a Purdue University and poll, the minimum wage required in Washington is $117,180. The report suggests that while happiness is needed, “emotional well-being” may be attained for between $66,960 and $83700.

What kind of income do you still need to live in D.C.?

The astonishing thing is that, including a new study, making decent money in D.C. is still more straightforward than in San Francisco, New York, or San Jose. You’ll still need to earn $80,273 a year to live a “comfortable position” in our country’s capital.


Is living in Washington, DC, cost-effective?

Therefore, the standard of rent in D.C. is 59 percent and is greater than the national median. Healthcare in Washington, DC is somewhat below average, while transportation, utility, and consumables are 10-18% higher than the national average. The most significant factor in the lack of cheap housing in Washington, DC, is house.

Is rent in Washington, DC, highly priced?

Rents in Washington, DC is higher than the national average and are equivalent to those in New York & Miami. The present median cost of a one-bedroom residence in D.C. is $2,508, with a two-bedroom apartment costing $3,634. The renting cost in Washington, DC, has grown by 12.05 percent from last year.